Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, who has won many foes after a number of scams were unearthed by his watchdog, today said the democracy was at the "crossroads" and it was time for the "silent majority" to speak up.
Hinting that the pro-active nature of CAG had not gone down well with many, he said, that work done by his institution had taken a toll on his friendships.
"Democracy is at crossroads today and each one of us assembled here needs to contribute to debunk the myth of the silent majority," Rai said addressing his Hindu college-mates at a function where he received the 'Alumunus of the Decade' award.
"The time has come for the majority not to be silent because it is a minority which speaks on the behalf of the majority," the CAG added.
Rai has come under severe attack from various quarters in the government, with some even suggesting that he was over-stepping the mandate that the CAG has.
The CAG particularly courted controversy in its assessment of 2G spectrum allocation, with its calculation of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss being questioned repeatedly.
Surrounded by his alma mater, Rai said in the lighter vein, "The pace at which I am losing friends, this award better came this year. Next year you may probably not even decide to give this award to me."
The CAG said his friends "in bureaucracy and otherwise have stopped even acknowledging me everytime they are on my wrong side or I am on their wrong side."
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, another Hindu College alumnus who has played a key role as a whistle-blower in various scams including 2G spectrum allocation, was also honoured with 'Distinguished Alumnus' award along with Congress Leader Rao Inderjeet Singh.
In another comment made in lighter vein, Rai said that the media was bringing out all the confidential government documents in the open.
Speaking before him, former Hindu College principal Kavita Sharma had expressed her intention to write a book on the college, to which Rai suggested her to include "all the saucy gossip" without mentioning any names.
He said the names should be marked secret and provided to the media which brings out in open the confidential documents. "And what the media cannot lay hands on is provided to them by Subramanian Swamy," he joked.
Noted lawyer Lalit Bhasin gave Swamy the 'Distinguished Alumni Award, while Rai presented the mementos to other Hinduites.
"Many people have asked me how is that a civil servant like Vinod Rai has the guts to take on the whole government. I say it is no surprise, he is a Hinduite," Swamy said in his speech.
He also took a dig at the St. Stephen's College which has an age old rivalry with the Hindu.
"For the first time since Independence you saw a new breed of Indians turning out and that Hindu represented. Being Hinduites we celebrated Diwali when students across the street celebrated Queen Elizabeth's birthday," he said.
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